Arianna Huffington On the Importance of ‘Thrive Time’

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Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global, explains on the Your Brain at Work podcast what "thrive time" is all about.

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Don’t call it “down time,” says Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global. Call it “thrive time.”

As Arianna shared with us on the most recent episode of NLI’s podcast, Your Brain at Work, recharging after strenuous bouts of work shouldn’t be considered a luxury. Leaders should make it the norm for their teams. And when they implement such policies, they need to create the systems that support them.

“Because otherwise,” Arianna says, “people are going to be very reluctant to ask for it because they still see it as indicating that they are not as dedicated to their job.”

Arianna Huffington headshot

Recent Gallup polls show burnout has become a national problem. Approximately 23% of the nearly 7,500 full-time employees surveyed said they were always or very often burned out. Another 44% said they were sometimes burned out. Other surveys indicate just 34% of people feel engaged at work. Together, these statistics capture a working culture that is virtually always on, and therefore, not performing at its best.

One solution, according to Thrive, is to establish a strict nightly routine.

“What we ask people is to declare an end to their day,” Arianna says. “There is really no end to our day, so we need to actually declare an end. And people learn through rituals. So for us the ritual that marks the end of your day should be turning off your phone and charging it outside your bed.”

At NLI, our analysis of the research on performance has shown that once people wake up refreshed and ready to engage, leaders can take concrete steps to sustain that engagement during the day. For example, they can use the SCARF® Model to improve everyday conversations. That means respecting people’s social needs across five domains: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness.

In other words, act in a way that keeps people feeling important, in control, and part of an equitable and just team. And when those engaged employees go above and beyond for you, consider giving them some thrive time. You’ll ensure they can keep doing that great work.

Check out the entire episode with Arianna at Simplecast.

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